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Here Are 2 Endorsements That Won't Come In Kennedy Vs. Markey

U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, left, and U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, during a 2017 rally (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, left, and U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, during a 2017 rally (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

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To impeach or not to impeach a Supreme Court justice — that is the question dividing some congressional Democrats. Another question: who to endorse in the Bay State Battle for U.S. Senate. Let’s break it all down.

About Those 2 Endorsements

Rep. Joe Kennedy III will be the latest Massachusetts Democrat to launch a primary challenge against a sitting lawmaker when he formally kicks off his bid to unseat Sen. Markey Saturday. But when it comes to endorsements, two notable members of the state’s congressional delegation — both of whom ousted Democratic incumbents in their own primaries — will sit this race out.

I’m told neither Rep. Seth Moulton nor Rep. Ayanna Pressley will publicly back either Kennedy or Markey. Pressley’s neutral stance is particularly noteworthy given her recently created leadership PAC designed to boost Democratic candidates, including those challenging incumbents.

Their decision to stay mum is not based on any bad feelings, I’m told. Moulton spokesman Matt Corridoni said Moulton has a good relationship with both Markey and Pressley, and believes that competitive primaries are “healthy for democracy.”

Pressley spokesman Harry Shipps said she has “a great working relationship with both Sen. Markey and Rep. Kennedy, and has deep respect for them both.” He added that Pressley is focused on working on behalf of the people in her district.

So far Markey is leading in the endorsement race, picking up nods from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona backs Kennedy.

Pressley Presses Kavanaugh Probe Despite Judiciary Chair Disinterest

Ayanna Pressley speaks at her campaign office in Boston. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Ayanna Pressley speaks at her campaign office in Boston. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York may be trying to put the brakes on calls for an impeachment probe of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after a previously unreported allegation of sexual misconduct surfaced in a New York Times report last weekend.

But Pressley is not taking “no” for an answer.

Nadler told WNYC Monday that committee members “have our hands [too] full with impeaching the president right now” to add Kavanaugh to the list.

But Pressley, who introduced a resolution this week calling for an impeachment inquiry to begin on Kavanaugh, told my colleague Shannon Dooling that “Congress can walk and chew gum.”

"I don't question the heart, the intention, the care and concern of any of my colleagues," Pressley said. But she added that the Democratic-led House has already proven it can conduct oversight and investigations on multiple fronts simultaneously.

“Someone who has this many allegations should not be serving on the highest court of the land,” Pressley said of Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh has denied previous allegations of misconduct and declined comment to WBUR on the Times report.

Warren Questions FTC's Equifax Settlement Tactics

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks to delegates during the 2019 Massachusetts Democratic Party Convention Saturday in Springfield. (Jessica Hill/AP)
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks to delegates during the 2019 Massachusetts Democratic Party Convention Saturday in Springfield. (Jessica Hill/AP)

If you are among the millions of Americans who signed up for a $125 cash payment as part of Equifax’s nearly $700 million data breach settlement, only to get an email demanding more information and warning that your claim may be denied, you’re not alone. And Warren is demanding answers from the Federal Trade Commission about its role in sending the “suspicious-sounding” emails with a subject line she said is “presumably designed to discourage many victims from opening the email or to push it into spam folders.”

In a letter to FTC Chair Joseph Simons, Warren cites reports claiming the FTC settlement administrator engaged in “bait-and-switch” tactics to reduce the monetary amount and total number of claims paid.

Warren said the emails, which she said imposed additional requirements on consumers not included in the original settlement, “appear to be clearly designed to weed out deserving claimants."

Last month, Warren requested that the FTC’s inspector general launch an investigation into the agency's handling of the settlement payout process.

3 More Quick Things

Filibuster Or Bust? Kennedy has proposed eliminating the legislative filibuster, among other things, in the lead-up to his Senate campaign announcement. And while Markey told me this week that he didn’t think the move would be necessary if Democrats win the House and Senate, he didn’t rule it out.

The need to pass legislation like the Green New Deal is so urgent, Markey said, “we may have to consider [ending the filibuster] before all of the politics of 2020 and into 2021 have been completed.”

— Lynch To Probe Rise Of White Supremacists: Tomorrow, Rep. Stephen Lynch, who chairs the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security, will hold a hearing on the increasing threat of white supremacist extremism to the United States. National security and legal experts are expected to testify.

In a statement, Lynch said the Capitol Hill hearing will "examine the transnational threat of white nationalist terrorism and consider solutions for how the United States and our international partners should combat it, while preserving the civil rights and liberties of all Americans."

— Trahan Files Student Aid Transparency Bill: Rep. Lori Trahan has filed a bill to make the process for applying for college student aid less confusing.

The legislation, called the Financial Aid Communication and Transparency (FACT) Act, would simplify the language used on college student aid forms, make the process of comparing offers easier, and require schools to provide students with more information on college costs and financial aid.

Quotation Of The Week

“Yeah, I was there for four hours. But guess what? So was the last guy in line.”

Warren to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, referencing the massive so-called “selfie line,” where Warren posed with supporters for photos — not selfies! — for hours after her presidential campaign rally in New York City.

Number Of The Week

$1.3 Trillion: The size of a stopgap spending bill, set for a vote in the House Thursday, to avert a government shutdown. The bill, reached as part of a bipartisan deal Wednesday, pushes the date for the next possible government shutdown to Nov. 21.

Related:

Kimberly Atkins Twitter Senior News Correspondent
Kimberly Atkins is a senior news correspondent for WBUR, covering national political news from Washington, D.C., with a New England focus.

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